Schools are re-opening in Sierra Leone ‪#‎Ebola‬

schoolsreopeningDid you know…

Five million children have been out of school in West Africa due to the Ebola outbreak, according to the Global Business Coalition for Education.

How you can help

Due to the Ebola outbreak, students of the Ebert Kakua School for the Deaf in Bo, Sierra Leone, have been out of school for almost a year. Schools are now reopening and this project will help get facility operations back up and running by purchasing academic and vocational training supplies, stocking up the school feeding program, sewing new uniforms and equipping the newly constructed dormitory.

Please click here for more information

By |April 23rd, 2015|

Amputee Camp Well Project: Complete!

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There were many happy faces on both sides of the Atlantic as we completed our latest project in Sierra Leone. The Mattru-on-the-Rails amputee community was joyful at the site of clean water pumped by the sun, flowing from standpipes in their camp, no longer requiring them to walk miles for clean water.

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Mohamed Nabieu, Deeper Missions volunteer project coordinator in Sierra Leone, visited the camp to see the new well in action. Traveling with Lappia Amara, director of the UMC artificial limb fitting center, they were greeted by camp leaders and residents who were enthusiastic about the project and the benefit it is already bringing to the community.

The project was initiated last year by Joy Jones in response to what she witnessed at the camp while on a medical mission trip (her original guest blog is here). The residents would have to walk three miles for fresh drinking water.

The design for the project was straightforward: drill a borehole well to the aquifer, (bypassing the groundwater table with its uncertain supply and purity), build a stand for a storage tank, wire a solar-powered water pump and then place the plumbing. However, gaining the funds in order to build the facility was beyond the means of a community which suffers from high unemployment, relying on subsistence farming and competing for day-labor work.

Mr. K, a camp resident, brought the impact of the new well into sharp focus for us when he said, “It has been long years now we have been straining for a facility like this. Initially, we have been using the nearby river for so many uses including even drinking. We have been struggling to get good drinking water in this camp and even its surrounding. We are over glad for this opportunity. ‘We say wata na life en na now we dae kam live we life de wae we want am’, meaning, ‘We say water is life. It is now the time to live our lives to the fullest with this safe drinking water’.”

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Thank you to all our supporters, especially to Joy Jones who brought this need to our attention. Through her tireless and enthusiastic efforts, and by the generosity of her friends and the Deeper Missions family of supporters, there are over 75 families representing more than 350 residents of the amputee community who will be enjoying clean, fresh water every day all year without the challenge of walking miles to fetch it or having to settle for drinking from risky water sources.

In closing, I’d like to share the words of Ms. M, the amputee camp’s women’s leader, who was very shy for the camera, still had these wonderful words to share, “on behalf of all the women in this camp, I want to express my thanks and appreciation to Deeper Missions and all those who have done this for us. We the women will now be easily able to do our domestic duties more efficiently with this water. We will now find it easier to cook, launder, drink, wash and do other things with this facility. ‘Mu ngohun nein go waa ha boi gisa vaa’, meaning, ‘our hearts are so glad for this facility’.”

UPDATE:

Even during the rainy season, there has been sufficient sunlight to keep the tank filled with safe drinking water for the community. The leaders have made an appeal to Deeper Missions that, for the sake of security, they would like to add a light to the area around the solar equipment. If you would like to “go the extra mile” with us, please click here to fund a solar-powered security light for the well area at the camp. Thank you again for your compassionate generosity!

 

 

By |May 27th, 2014|

Update: Amputee Camp Well Project – Construction and Plumbing

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We received an update from our in-country project coordinator and from the contractor that the construction and plumbing phase is complete!

This past week, a team of local workers dug holes for both the reinforced footers of the storage tank stand and for the grounding pit to the solar panels. Everyone is working in earnest before the rainy season starts making it more challenging to dry concrete (and keep water out of holes!). Progress went well as you can see from the photos.

There is now a tank stand in place and three distribution points which will have faucets from which camp residents will be able to draw deep-pumped, fresh water any day, any time of the year.

Digging_watertank_stand_and_grounding_pit-300x225The team returned to Freetown after completing this phase to wait for the solar components to arrive. They will then return to finish the project by placing the storage tank on the stand and the pump in the well, connecting the pipes and complete the solar wiring.

I am so pleased at how much support this project has received and how much of a difference it will make for such a disadvantaged community! Word has gotten around and Deeper Missions has been approached by another group to provide a well for a primary school and its surrounding community. If you like the results you’re seeing with this latest project, please help us jump start our next project click here and making a donation that makes a difference. Thank You!

 

By |May 2nd, 2014|

Breaking News: Breaking Ground on Amputee Camp Well

For Joy Jones, it all started with a visit to an amputee camp while on a medical mission trip to Sierra Leone in 2012. While there, she witnessed the daily challenges faced by people who were maimed during Sierra Leone’s devastating civil war, including a three-mile walk to access clean water. Joy knew she had to respond.  For those following Deeper Missions for a while, you may have read Joy’s guest blog from last November.

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Well drillers survey for best location.

 

Eighteen months later, after tirelessly seeking funds, we are all pleased to announce the ground-breaking for an all-season’s well at the Mattru-on-the-Rail Amputee Camp. The facility will use solar power to pump water into a 3,000 liter storage tank and adaptive faucets so water can be easily drawn, no matter the disability.

Located just south of the New London Section of Bo, Sierra Leone, the Mattru camp was started in 2007 by Friends of Sierra Leone, a Norwegian NGO. The village is home to 75 amputees and about 250 family members.

Accompanied by Mr. Lappia Amara, Director of the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Artificial Limb Fitting Center, Deeper Missions Executive Director, Derek Reinhard, visited the camp while traveling in Sierra Leone last summer.  Derek met with camp leaders and discussed possible sites for the well.

Breaking Ground for Well Drilling

Mr. Lappia Amara and well drilling team

 

“It was an uplifting and humbling time to meet people who, despite their harrowing experiences, were happy and hopeful for the future,” Derek reflected. “Deeper Missions is honored to work with Joy Jones and her circle of friends, as well as with Mr. Amara and the Mattru leadership to bring more water security for the families in the camp.”

We will keep you updated on the progress of the well on this blog, our Facebook page, and Twitter.

If you would like to help Deeper Missions continue to bring community-healing clean energy, water, and sanitation, please consider giving a gift today.

By |April 2nd, 2014|

Deeper Missions Joins the End Water Poverty Coalition

The End Water Poverty (EWP) Coalition, is a civil society coalition comprised of 260 organizations in 60 countries and forms a global network of local organizations, national networks, and international NGOs committed to WASH projects and initiatives. The coalition focuses on creating an international alliance to end water poverty and improve sanitation.

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The EWP is active in campaigning for water security at conferences and events including the Least Developed Country Conference and the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting. The next SWA Meeting will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014 at the World Bank in Washington DC. The EWP is also active in promoting the annual series of World Walks for Water and Sanitation in conjunction with World Water Day on March 22, 2014.  

According to The Water Project, half of the people in Sierra Leone get their water from unprotected sources. Infections caused by, and parasites most often found in contaminated water, lead to the largest cause of death in Sierra Leone. Deeper Missions work includes clean water and sanitation projects; our most recent effort, starting in March, is a well with solar pumping and adaptive faucets for the Matru-on-the-Rails amputee camp near Bo, Sierra Leone. The well will provide clean water for 350 members of the community who currently have to walk miles to get to the nearest clean water source. For more information on the project, visit our previous guest blog post by Joy Jones here. Donations for the amputee well project can be made here.

As a member of EWP, Deeper Missions will be able to connect with a global coalition and international network dedicated to ending global water poverty and improving sanitation.

“Together we can take actions in countries around the world at the same time so that all our efforts go further.” — Esmee Russell, International Campaign Coordinator and leader of the EWP Secretariat.

 

By |March 7th, 2014|

Breaking Ground on Another Sanitation Project!

Thanks to a generous grant from the New Creation Community Church in Dover, Pennsylvania, another community in West Africa is receiving  a pair of waterless, solar composting Enviro-loos!

Executive Director and Eloo contractor discuss locating the project

Derek and contractor, Peter, discuss locating the Eloos with church leaders.

 

Deeper Missions broke ground at the Bishop Bangura Memorial United Methodist Church in Motema, nr Koidu in the Kono District, Sierra Leone on January 21st and have made great progress. During our summer team trip, some team mates and I traveled to the church and met with Pastor Smith and other church leaders to confirm their requirements. The contractor was also able to explain how he would proceed.

Last week Mohamed Nabieu, the Deeper Missions in-country project coordinator, met again with church and community leaders to remind and explain the benefits of this sanitation technology, answer questions, and get feedback.

Here are some comments he captured during the meeting:

Church’s Evangelist: “It is a Bluff/bloff (so proud) to us in this community. This is my first time seeing this kind of toilet. When I explain to friends outside this church about the kind of toilet my church has, it baffles them. They say how can a toilet like that work to provide manure? Honestly, I’m overjoyed. I want to thank all the donors”

Placing the Eloos

Mr. Jaka checks Eloo placement with workmen while some from the community look on

Local Chief: “ I am so glad for this work. This church is the most blessed church in the Kono District.”

Church Member: “I am telling papa God Tenki for the donors….I am so glad with this development. We are willing to help the contractor in all ways to finish up with this structure because we need it so much.”

Pastor Smith: “Thank God for his presence at Motema. I appreciate all that is happening here at my church. This facility will no longer be embarrassed, especially for our visitors.”

I would like to echo the gratitude of the Motema community and the congregation of the Bishop Bangura UMC for the generosity of our donors, especially the New Creation Community Church! Thank you!

By |January 26th, 2014|

Ground-Breaking Enviro-Loos to Help Stem Cholera

Rough-and-smooth-sand-to-be-mixed-together-for-better-concrete-work.-300x225From UNICEF: Cholera is known as a disease that affects the poor because of the lack of access to clean water and improved sanitation. The best preventive measure against cholera is access to improved water supply, basic sanitation and hygiene.

Deeper Missions is working at the heart of the problem in Sierra Leone. It’s most recent project was initiated to benefit Mercy Hospital in Bo and the surrounding community.

With the help of an innovation grant from the Child Health Foundation, we started our second waterless, solar composting latrine construction that will bring improved sanitation and protect ground water from leaking pit latrines to the hospital located in Kulanda Town, Bo.

Click here to read more on construction progress.

By |August 31st, 2012|

Sanitation Project Validation and Hope For Kakua Program at Deaf School

With only 4 days and a long to-do list, we hit the ground running. The rainy season has been gentle on us so far–few showers and the worst storms were a couple of weeks ago.

Deaf school Eloo inspection

Inspecting Eloos after 4 months operations

 

Linda and I immediately headed out to the New York Section of Bo to meet up with the director of the deaf school and the sanitation project contractor from January.  We wanted to validate the Eloos were operating as expected after 4 months, as well as collect photos and profile information at the deaf school so we could complete more student profiles for our Hope For Kakua sponsors.

I was very pleased to see the Eloos were being used properly and that composting and dehydration was already occurring.

The day was also filled with the excitement of working with all the students at the Ebert-Kakua School for the Deaf that day–no matter the disability, children are children and young people are young people–full of hopes and fears, and always curious and willing to share a smile as I tried my halting signing skills while photographing each student, teachers interpreted, and Linda captured their interests and other personal details.

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Fatmata and Kuru, 8 and 10, are students benefiting from the Hope For Kakua Program

 

Although Deeper Missions focuses on bringing health-giving clean energy, safe water and sanitation solutions to communities in need, the Hope For Kakua Sponsor-a-Student program is a natural extension to our mission as students are supported with essential materials and meals to help the learn at their best.

Linda and I are coming home with over 30 more student profiles to share with those who would like to help empower some of the most vulnerable of Sierra Leone’s population; young men and women, and children who, without the Ebert-Kakua School’s academic and vocational training, would be forced to simply beg on the streets each day to help feed their family.

Mercy Hospital Eloo Project Review

Derek reviewing Eloo engineering diagrams with contractor, Peter Jaka

 

We also spent the day looking ahead to the next sanitation project.  With new engineering and design specifications in hand, I met with Mr. Jaka, the contractor for the Mercy Hospital Eloo project, as well as with Mr. Sonneh, of LoMa Builders, whose company specializes in local building material excellence and training youth in construction skills. I hope to tour his training and manufacturing site tomorrow

Both men are anxious to prove themselves in this and future projects which, along with improving the health of their communities, will provide needed work for a country whose unemployment rate is estimated at a staggering 70%.

 

 

By |May 15th, 2012|

Manjama Clinic, Solar and Wind System

We plan to renovate the system, replace the controller and replenish the batteries. Manjama is a small rural medical clinic located north of Bo, Sierra Leone. It is under the supervision of Mercy Hospital and provides medical care to the rural population.  The solar and wind power system provides electricity for a vaccine refrigerator and some lighting for the facility buildings.

Cost: Approximately $1400

[Mission Ready! — This work will be completed in May 2011]

By |June 5th, 2011|

Rechargeable Solar Reading Lamps

It shouldn’t hurt to study. These portable rechargeable lamps hang from windows and backpacks by day and provide clean light to study by in the evening. Typically, because of a lack of electricity, households that cannot afford a diesel generator use kerosene/paraffin lamps or even candles.  The smoke alone is a hazard as students huddle around the flame to study; additional hazards come from injuries caused by tipping lamps and candles.  Durable, bright LED lights with integral solar cells and rechargeable batteries provide years of safe, clean light for students and their homes.

Buy-1-Give-1 (or Give-2)

Cost: $20 provides clean air and safe lighting to a student for at least two years.

[Click here to donate toward solar study lamps. ]

By |June 5th, 2011|